While inbound marketing is getting a lot of buzz, a well-rounded marketing mix should include both inbound and outbound marketing strategies. Inbound works for broad lead generation activities, but outbound is good to amplify your inbound efforts, and target specific opportunities. So what exactly is outbound marketing? It’s using outbound channels to introduce your message and content to your prospects, typically through rented attention, rather than making your content and messages availableon your own properties.

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Opportunity to collect valuable prospect information – Lead generation has the potential to gather important marketing information from prospects. Customer information such as needs wants, and preferences can assist you in tailoring your product or service to suit your customers’ needs. Eg. Companies can obtain this information through registration forms.
The problem is that information abundance equals attention scarcity. This is known as attention economics. Social scientist Herbert Simon was the first person to discuss this concept when he wrote “in an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients.”
Remember when we talked about lead scoring? Well, it isn’t exactly doable without your sales team’s input. How will you know what qualifies a lead for sales without knowing if your defined SQLs are successfully sold? Your marketing and sales teams need to be aligned on the definitions and the process of moving a lead from MQL to SQL to opportunity before you even begin to capture leads.

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Use direct mail to entice customers. Direct mail still works for a variety of businesses. You can purchase a mailing list that fits certain specifications, such as neighborhood or income level, and send your mailing to these people. Be sure to target demographics that fit your product. The more targeted your mailing is, the greater likelihood you will receive interested leads.

With the new buyer it is important to note that your marketing efforts don’t end once a new lead comes into your system – what we call Top of the Funnel (TOFU) marketing.  Many companies do a good job at generating leads, but the problem is that most new leads are not ready to buy yet.  And if a sales rep does engage and the lead isn’t ready to talk with them, it reinforces the notion that marketing sourced leads are not great. As a result leads get lost, ignored, or snatched up by your competitors.

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The self-directed buyer’s shields are up, and they are ignoring your messages. Developing a relationship to cut through the noise is critical.  Not all leads that go to sales are ready to buy, so you have to make sure that you have in place a solid lead nurturing strategy to continue to build awareness and affinity for your brand while your prospect is self-educating. Through paying attention to your MOFU efforts through tactics such as lead nurturing, you can continue to have a relevant conversation with prospects long after your lead generation efforts.
New technology sets the trend in the market. For example, smartphones are trending all over the world. Subsequently, most people access their mail or browse websites through smartphones or tablets; this shows that the you should invest in making your marketing efforts compatible with these devices, allowing you to reach the maximum amount of customers.
Identifying consumers that would have an interest in what you offer is important. They have the potential to become customers for your business or service. As you find people that would find value in your product, or service is one thing, obtaining their contact information is the next. It helps to accomplish this when you offer something in exchange for it, something that would benefit them. It might involve coupons, free trials, job applications, online content, or blogs. 

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We discuss the use of gym sign spinners in another blog post, but it’s a great way to generate leads. If there’s one thing that’s great about sign spinners, it’s that they get a LOT of eye traffic. Just think about the last time you saw a sign spinner. You probably remember EXACTLY where you were at when you said to the kids in the car, “Kids, look at him spinning that sign over by the stoplight.” You also probably remember the business he/she was promoting. Put your gym logo on the sign and get that spinner out there! Better yet, put your FitnessTexter texting code on your sign. That way, if people are stuck at a light, they can text your code for your free week pass and you’ll get an email lead notification. If you’re not a fan of using a sign spinner, sit down with your marketing team and try to think of creative ways to get the word out about your business. You could be the best gym in your entire city, but if no one knows about you, it doesn’t do anyone any good. Time to brainstorm!

You know what they say: you can catch a lot of flies with honey, but you can catch more honeys being fly. Try that cliche in a bar and it might end with a drink thrown in your face, but adapting that mindset in your inbound marketing strategy could not only improve lead generation rates, but also increase the number of qualified leads your business attracts.
Somewhere between installing pop-up blockers and dumping our spam folders, we made an oath to never "Sign up here" again. It is time marketers start gradually breaking down those walls that potential buyers have put up, by using new, mutually-beneficial opt-in methods to acquire their information. The best marketing method for this technique of "giving before we ask" includes using lead magnets.
We sure do believe in practicing what we preach. Our very own business development efforts are our proof of concept. In the decade of our existence, we have helped business owners not only generate valuable leads for their businesses (983,287 to be precise) but also made room in time and resources for them to concentrate on for which they started the business in the first place.

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